Odes, Leps, Herps, and some Aves

Green Darners have been ovipositing in the Wetlands (3/13). Up until this Tuesday I had only seen males patrolling the area. I was finally able to confirm the emergence of Fragile Forktails (Ischnura posita). I photographed a damselfly a week ago (3/7) but wasn’t sure of its identity, although I was fairly confident that it was a forktail. I’ve seen these forktails here at the Museum as early as mid February. It’s curious that I haven’t seen one earlier thisRead more

Hylidae are Active!

Northern Cricket Frogs, Green Treefrogs, and Cope’s Gray Treefrogs are all active and calling. The daily showers that we’ve been experiencing lately have moved this family of small frogs to think of romance, or at least to mate. So, when you’re hiking around the trails listen for the “click-click-click” of the cricket frog, the “quonck-quonck-quonck” of the green treefrog, and the bird-like “berrrrrrilll, berrrrrilll” of the gray treefrog. Have fun!Read more

A New Amphibian Song and other Herp News

Without question, American Toads (Bufo americanus) have taken the lead in the chorus of amphibian songsters. Peepers, chorus frogs and Pickerel Frogs have nearly completed their seasonal breeding and are now less frequently heard or seen. The toads began to move down into the Wetlands in numbers during the last week in March, crossing the pavement and massing on the north side of the water amongst the willows and rushes. Once the toads reach the water the males find aRead more

A Little Brown Snake, Calling Frogs, and Stewed Turtles

A small Brown Snake delighted a group of schoolchildren as it attempted to cross the paved path just below the Lemur House. The tiny snake, unable to gain traction on the relatively smooth macadam to propel itself forward, kept sliding sideways down the path as it wriggled along in high gear. With much effort, and a little coaxing by me, it finally made it to the side of the path and disappeared into the grass. Northern Cricket Frogs are callingRead more

Snakes Mingle, Snappers Tumble, and Yellow-bellies Hatch

Each day that I visited the Wetlands during the first half of April I was able to locate from four to six different Northern Water Snakes. Towards afternoon of each day, there were at least four of these variably colored snakes on a near horizontal Black Willow trunk no more than a dozen feet from the paved path next to the Wetlands Overlook. Hundreds of field-tripping school children from districts all over the state, including some from Virginia, were ableRead more

Wetlands Slowly Awakens

One Painted Turtle and 2 Yellow-bellied Turtles were out basking on the 7th of February; many more joined them later in the period. I thought I heard a Gray Treefrog calling early in this period and positively heard Spring Peepers and at least one Upland Chorus Frog sing out as things heated up. At least one small Bullfrog was in the Wetlands and several Green Frogs were seen out on logs or clumps of moss during the second week ofRead more